An evolving list of my favorite books, videos, and podcasts that I have found helpful in my career:
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
A little book of small ways to build momentum. One of my favorites: Don’t break the chain. Buy a giant calendar, then set out to complete the same challenge every day. Cross off each day you complete the activity, and soon there’s no going back… otherwise you will break the chain.
“Show & Tell” by Dan Roam
This book has some really nice, illustrative frameworks for how to get better at storytelling.
“Give & Take” by Adam Grant
I stumbled on this book by accident when I was researching the art of collaboration. Wow. It’s not about collaboration, but I’ve been recommending it to everyone since. Read it.
“Group Genius: The Power of Collaboration” by Keith Sawyer
Name any great artist, writer, inventor, or scientist, and you will discover that they were not a lone genius. Some of the most famous people from history would have remained unknown if it had not been for collaborating with others on their break-through projects.
“Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message” by Michael Masterson & John Forde
The ideas in this book are so common sense and yet so brilliant.
“Managing Enterprise Content” by Ann Rockley & Charles Cooper
I recommend this book to anyone who is about to buy an enterprise-level content management system or who thinks a web CMS is the only type of CMS.
“Measuring the User Experience” by Thomas Tullis & William Albert
If you like both user research AND numbers, this book is for you. Or, if you’re teaching a UX measurement class, this makes a perfect textbook.
“Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras
Also read “Good to Great.”
“Sexy Little Numbers: How to Grow Your Business Using Data You Already Have” by Dimitri Maex & Paul B. Brown
This is one of my favorite books about big data because it was one of the few I could understand—Ha. Their gold nugget, jackpot, and acorn metaphors makes this book worth reading.
“The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell
All of Gladwell’s books are lined up on my bookcase. I love this one because it perfectly illustrates how to turn data into captivating stories.
“Content Rules” by Ann Handley & CC Chapman
Every best practice for every content format.
“1oo Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People” by Susan M. Weinschenk
Psychology concepts written by a UX designer.
“Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton
This is a book you need to own, not borrow — as there is a one-time use code inside you can use to discover your strengths. Also, purchase this version, not “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” This one is much better.
“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser
One of the intimidating parts about writing a blog is the fear of not being original. But then William reminded me: “It was my book about baseball and my book about jazz. Other writers would write their book.”
“The 4 Ways Sound Affects Us” TedTalk by Julian Treasure
UX isn’t just what we can see. It’s what we cannot see and all the spaces in-between. Watch Julian’s TedTalk if you need more convincing. You won’t walk into any public space without taking note of the sounds again.
“Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce” by Malcom Gladwell
I believe this was the very first TedTalk I ever watched. Still one of the best.
“Is Design Metrically Opposed?” by Jared Spool
If you think bounce rates and website visits are dumb KPIs, you will really like this video. Jared explains why you are 100% right.
“I ♥ CX” – Forrester Research
This podcast is all about experiences that include and go beyond digital. How an experience feels, sounds, and looks — whether on a computer screen (digital) or boarding process onto a plane (real-life) — is all UX. Er, CX.
“Online Marketing Made Easy” – Amy Porterfield
I avoided this podcast for a very long time because the name of it was so ridiculous. I finally relented, and OMG. So much practical, how to information about Facebook marketing, email list building, running webinars, and more.
“99% Invisible” – Roman Mars
This is an incredible example of exceptional storytelling. Steal this format for your podcast.